New Jersey facing down flood insurance changes coming from FEMA
Earlier this month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced revisions to its flood maps that could have severe implications for many properties in New Jersey. The revisions were spurred by the impact of Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread flooding in New Jersey, particularly in areas that had not been prone to floods in previous years. The flood maps are meant to assess the risks of certain properties and are often used to dictate the price of flood insurance coverage. FEMA’s revisions have been strongly opposed by Governor Chris Christie.
Governor continues to criticize federal flood insurance program
Governor Christie has been a very vocal critic of the National Flood Insurance Program, which accounts for the majority of flood insurance coverage throughout the country. The Governor has called the federal program ineffective in its handling of claims associated with Hurricane Sandy. Governor Christie has also been fighting with FEMA over the revisions the agency plans to make to its flood maps. The Governor suggests that these changes could make homeowners and flood insurance coverage much more expensive for those that continue to struggle to recover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
FEMA backs off from aggressive flood map revisions
FEMA appears to be responding to the concerns of Governor Christie, as the Governor announces that the agency is showing signs of abandoning its revisions to New Jersey’s flood maps. According to the Governor, the agency has been dialing back the aggressive changes it had been planning to make to its flood maps, but some changes are still expected to take form. FEMA is eager to revise its flood maps for much of the eastern U.S. to account for the risks associated with flooding. Without these revisions, the agency may not be able to adequately address these risks through flood insurance coverage.
FEMA still plans to introduce some modest changes to New Jersey flood maps
According to Governor Christie, FEMA still plans to revise the flood maps of New Jersey, but these revisions will be significantly less aggressive than what the agency had previously planned. It will be several months before FEMA issues its revisions. There is no way to tell currently how these revisions will affect flood insurance coverage and prices in New Jersey or which areas will be considered more exposed to flooding than others.